NPD: mid-tier games struggling against triple-A blockbusters

Black Ops II, Madden, Halo 4 top annual bestsellers in US

Annualised franchises dominate the list of 2012's best-selling games in North America.


Call of Duty: Black Ops II dominated 2012 as expected, while Madden NFL 13 and Halo 4 came in second and third respectively.

Meanwhile, Just Dance 4 replaced Madden NFL 13 as second-runner in the sales chart for December. According to NPD analyst Liam Callahan, the results for December 2012 do not bode well for "middle-tier" titles.

"In December 2012, positive trending for many annualized franchises like Call of Duty, Skylanders, Assassin's Creed, and FIFA, points to consumers' increased spending on hits, but that middle-tier games as well as catalog titles are suffering," Callahan said.

"This is evident in examining the share of December dollar sales that the top ten titles generated, which was 46 percent in December 2012, up 12 percentage points from last December."

The annual list:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  2. Madden NFL 13
  3. Halo 4
  4. Assassin's Creed III
  5. Just Dance 4
  6. NBA 2K13
  7. Borderlands 2
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  9. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  10. FIFA Soccer 13

The list for December 2012

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  2. Just Dance 4
  3. Halo 4
  4. Assassin's Creed III
  5. Madden NFL 13
  6. Far Cry 3
  7. NBA 2K13
  8. Skylander Giants
  9. New Super Mario Bros. 2
  10. FIFA Soccer 13